Update from the Superintendent - March 3, 2023

One of the most rewarding parts of my role as superintendent is visiting the classrooms of all teachers who have been hired over the last two years. This week, I spent a couple of hours in and out of classrooms at Mabel I. Wilson School with Principal Cory Munsey as we visited with students and the school's newer teachers. I continue to be impressed with the caliber and skillfulness of the educators we hire each year to join our existing team of incredible professionals. My visits to classrooms throughout the district are consistently met with students learning at high levels from talented teachers and instructional staff.

Though we are careful not to rely too heavily on one assessment as a means of monitoring student academic growth, we use the iReady assessment as a benchmark for literacy and mathematics due to its reliability in measuring progress with state standards. Much like the large jump in iReady scores at MIW that I referenced in the fall, we have recent iReady results that indicate large growth patterns at GMS 4-5, too. In literacy, iReady scores jumped from 50% of students meeting benchmarks without additional interventions in the fall to 65% this winter. Math scores showed an even greater increase of students meeting benchmarks from 33% in the fall to 63% this winter. 

Not only is skillful instruction to credit for these impressive gains, but continued emphasis on targeted interventions is a major factor, otherwise known as Response to Intervention (RTI) and Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS). Instruction and accompanying interventions are categorized using this tiered framework:
There is an old saying in education that goes: "Instruction works." The day-to-day focus on academic achievement and learning by our teachers and instructional staff continues to pay off in large dividends for our students from pre-kindergarten through grade 12. In a district which routinely demonstrates significant gains in student academic progress each year, as measured against rigorous state learning standards, our students are well prepared for college, career, and beyond.


Jeff Porter